Photographs: fantasy, not reality

“They say cameras add ten pounds, but HP digital cameras can help reverse that effect,” says the promo material. “The slimming feature, available on select HP digital camera models, is a subtle effect that can instantly trim off pounds from the subjects in your photos!”

Before and after photos of slimming effect

Three thoughts come to mind…

1. If, as camera-makers are always telling us, it’s about “keeping our cherished memories forever”, this confirms that we’d rather live in a fantasy than the reality of our lives. Why would we deliberately want to pollute our memories?

2. What other in-camera effects do we need? The “Remove drunken Uncle Len from the Christmas party” filter, perhaps?

3. We shouldn’t be amazed by this, as Moore’s Law gives us more and more processing power in small devices.

I have a Nokia N80 phone, for instance, and like all the new N Series phones it can not only record video but also edit it — yes, single-timeline video editing software with titling, transitions etc. In a telephone.

Sure, the tiny processor takes a while to edit cross-fades, and it’s only a small frame. But using this pocket-sized device (smaller than a cigarette packet!) I can shoot, edit, narrate and upload video content from anywhere on a 3G network. Well, actually, anywhere on a GSM network if I’ll wait for the uploads.

I can’t be bothered doing the calculations, but I’m sure someone might tell us when Moore’s Law will give us this same portable device with HDTV resolution and real-time video effects during editing for under $1k? Can’t be that far away…

3 Replies to “Photographs: fantasy, not reality”

  1. Trust me, it ain’t worth it.

    Still waiting for the Umberto Eco article about this. ‘Travels in Hyperreality’? He ain’t seen anything!

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